It is the critic who counts

All published book reviews are a bit of a mixed blessing, although an author or his/her publisher wouldn't expose the book to criticism unless there was a high probability of a positive. And of course if the review is too much tinged with the negative it definitely wouldn't be mentioned on the back of the book or on the book's on-line publicity, would it now? (A rhetorical question if ever there was one!)

For me and my More Deaths Than One, the reviews that have given me the most pleasure have been the ones on Amazon - nine of them to date. Eight gained five out of five stars, the other one four out of five. Most of these have been submitted by people I know, and because I know them and trust their judgement I can be sure they are 'genuine' views by experienced readers of novels. Thank you, each and every one! And if there are readers of my book out there who haven't yet ...

Then there were the reviews submitted anonymously by fellow members world-wide on YouWriteOn.com - now the publisher of my novel. Essentially on that site you review and grade the work of another (call him/her 'B'). This review entitles your work to be reviewed and graded in turn by another anonymous writer (call him / her 'C'.)Because of this total anonymity, together with the fact that B and C must themselves be writers, the outcome can not only be of great interest but of great help, perhaps in the re-editing or modification of your work. And I should add that the the deep consideration, reviewing and grading of another's fiction can be rewarding in itself; a learning curve like any other. I reviewed a total of fifty three submissions whilst I was active within YouWriteOn.com .

And then of course there are the professionals. These are the so much sought after critiques in the Trade and the media that can on their own make or break a novel in the marketplace. Especially so when the author is a first-timer. I haven't gone far outside the Scottish Highlands in search of media reviews for More Deaths Than One, but shall certainly be doing so in respect of my forthcoming publication, Going with Gabe. In the meantime my thanks to Hector Mackenzie, editor, The Ross-shire Journal, to Dorothy Malone, editor, The Gairloch and District News and to Val Moss, presenter at Ullapool Radio for her piece in the Ullapool News.

A President of the United States once began a speech with; "It is not the critic who counts ..." Sir, I beg to differ.

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